There’s a wee place in Mt Wellington on the corner of Lunn Ave and Ellerlie Panmure Highway. There’s a big Z Petrol Station out front, a Wendy’s out back, with a United Video and bakery to its left. It might be one of the best kept Thai secrets in East Auckland. And you’ve got to appreciate the name. We’ve been to our fair share of Thai Huts, Thai Houses, Thai Domiciles, more exotically named Sawadee Thai, purely medicinal I’m sure Joy Bong to Thai Me Up and other kitschy puns. Target Thai Takeaways is delightfully bereft of any marketing pretension.
We bought a Chicken Pad Si Ew, Chicken Gaeng Massaman, two spring rolls, and two curry rolls. All the mains cost $10 for a beef, pork, or chicken option, with the seafood/prawn option costing between $12-$13.50 except for the deep fried snapper, which costs $15. If you’ve got fussy kids along for the ride, they helpfully offer a pretty complete fish and chip selection, along with burgers and toasted sandwiches. When we purchased, we figured we would get a little paper or plastic bag, like we normally do, what we got was this:
Good Lords Cricket Ground the portions are generous. The spring rolls are massive. At $1.50 they ought to be larger than the petite little gentlemen you get at the normal Thai establishment, but you’ll get a lot more spring roll for $6 than you will from those same Thai places. The curry rolls are solid masses of vegetable and rice, while the regular ones are the more familiar mixture of vermicelli, cabbage, carrot, mung bean and mince meat.
For the Massaman curry, the sauce alone was more generous than the noodles we tend to get elsewhere. Most of those places offer their Massaman as a beef or lamb affair, whereas here it’s chicken only. It’s not just sauce filler either, there are huge chunks of tender potato and carrot big enough to sink the titanic, along with peanut and flavours that keep all the sweet, sour and salty elements hand in hand like the most well behaved buddy system. They cook to NZ palates, so asking for medium hot won’t get you a shade over mild, so bear in mind when you order. It was so flavoursome we didn’t care.
The Pad Si Ew? Woah. I thought the $5 version at the Pakuranga Night Markets was value for money, this delivers more than twice the $5 option for $10, with plenty of flavour to boot. There’s plenty of bok choy, broccoli, carrot and mung beans for those who like their veggies, and the sauce is great for those who like their Pad Si Ew on the sweet side. Some might find it a little oily, but again, keep the price in mind.
We’re pretty happy to have found a new local. What’s annoying is that we’ve been aware of this place for a while, but never thought to try it. Their facebook page shows plenty of happy customers, as well as their organic farm where they source their chicken, and what looks like most if not all their vegetables and herbs, making their pricing even more amazing. If you’re stuck out East and want a quick meal, or need to deliver your share to the potluck, you’d be hard pressed to beat this combination of flavour and price. They’re open 12-9pm everyday, so they’re always an option.